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Refrigerator at ~41° F - Brisket & Duck Bacon

fensterbos

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I hate to have my first post a question and probably one that is asked a lot but there is a lot riding on this.

I picked up a (beautiful) brisket at Restaurant Depot on Wednesday and immediately put it in my fridge. I went down there earlier today and noticed that there was a bit of a smell coming from the fridge. I grabbed my temperature gun and checked different parts of the fridge and the temperature was around 39° to 41° F. I immediately cranked the fridge colder and the fridge is now settling around 35°. The smell is not as strong as it was this morning and when holding the meat close to my nose it doesn't seem like the smell is coming from the meat. I have had meat spoil in the fridge a few months ago when I forgot to turn it back on after cleaning, so I am wondering if that is what I was smelling this morning.

Do you think we are safe to use the brisket if it was in the fridge for 48 hours at 40° - 41°? I was also curing duck breast to make bacon; do you think the curing salt helped preserve it?

Thank you for your input!
 
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fensterbos

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I deal curing temp in the fridge is 37 degrees. 39/41 is a bit high but for 48 hours I doubt any harm done. Did you smell the meats or were you getting old odor from the fridge?
I haven't taken the meat out of the packaging yet. I am planning on smoking the brisket tonight but I have already purchased a backup in case I can't save the original one.

The duck breast is in a vacuum sealed bag but it has been in the fridge since Sunday - if ideal curing temp is 37 degrees then that duck breast is going in the trash.

Obviously, safety is the utmost importance since I do not want to get 50+ people sick.
 
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dr k

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Can you get all bottom drawers etc. out to make sure blood, juices etc. are not the problem. I'd take apart the fridge if the smell is in the fridge and not a dead mouse outside the fridge or whatever.
 

SonnyE

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and not a dead mouse outside the fridge or whatever.
Oh dayam Doc! A dead mouse can be smelled outside.
A dead rat can be smelled a mile away. YUKKIE!

I'd wash down the fridge with some TSP, or simply a solution of 1 ounce of bleach, in 10 ounces of water.
But with bleach, use nothing else. (I like Clorox spray cleaner as well.)
I had the stinkies in my RV fridge up at the Daughters house. Clorox spray wipe down wiped it out.
As long as your packaged meat smells like meat, I'd be betting it's fine.
As long as it is cooked above leathality temps, it'll be sterilized. If it tastes bad, do what the Grandkid's do...
Spit it out, make a face, and yell YUKKIE!
 

mike243

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Safe fridge temps are 36-42, i work on 8-10 of them a day
 

mike243

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Also lazer readers dont do to well in refridges just as soon as the door is open the surface temps head north, best way is to use a digital thermometer and trap it between package in fridge or freezer
 

fensterbos

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I cannot recall if any blood or similar has gotten into any crevices or under the drawers but I'll take a look when I pull the meat out this evening. I'll do the sniff test all around the refrigerator to see if I can pinpoint where the smell could have been coming from - that is if the meat itself isn't the culprit.

What do you think about the duck? Will the curing salt give it extra protection or can I expect to just toss that?
 

SonnyE

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I haven't taken the meat out of the packaging yet.
What is it packaged in?
If it is Cryvaced, the smell is likely something else. I suspect you have sour fridge syndrome.

This is why:
I have had meat spoil in the fridge a few months ago when I forgot to turn it back on after cleaning, so I am wondering if that is what I was smelling this morning.
 

chef jimmyj

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40 to 140 are temps limits that have shown some bacteria can survive and a few can grow, but at a very slow rate, several days. Think of it this way... Humans can survive at 41? but are YOU in the mood to REPRODUCE?
Nothing to worry about here...JJ
 

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